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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

The prize-winning children's author depicts a childhood from hell in this searing yet redemptive graphic memoir.

One day David Small awoke from a supposedly harmless operation to discover that he had been transformed into a virtual mute. A vocal cord removed, his throat slashed and stitched together like a bloody boot, the fourteen-year-old boy had not been told that he had throat cancer and was expected to die. Small, a prize-winning children's author, re-creates a life story that might have been imagined by Kafka. Readers will be riveted by his journey from speechless victim, subjected to X-rays by his radiologist father and scolded by his withholding and tormented mother, to his decision to flee his home at sixteen with nothing more than dreams of becoming an artist. Recalling Running with Scissors with its ability to evoke the trauma of a childhood lost, Stitches will transform adolescent and adult readers alike with its deeply liberating vision.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

This acclaimed memoir by an award--winning children's book illustrator delves into Small's difficult childhood in which his father subjected him to repeated X-rays. He eventually developed cancer and lost his voice following surgery. Unable to speak, Small is further isolated and alienated from his unhappy family. A deeply emotional and haunting story, with gorgeous illustrations. This book was nominated for the National Book Award in the youth category, but the subject matter is rather dark; appropriate for older teens and up. (LJ 7/09) (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

In this profound and moving memoir, Small, an award-winning children's book illustrator, uses his drawings to depict the consciousness of a young boy. The story starts when the narrator is six years old and follows him into adulthood, with most of the story spent during his early adolescence. The youngest member of a silent and unhappy family, David is subjected to repeated x-rays to monitor sinus problems. When he develops cancer as a result of this procedure, he is operated on without being told what is wrong with him. The operation results in the loss of his voice, cutting him off even further from the world around him. Small's black and white pen and ink drawings are endlessly perceptive as they portray the layering of dream and imagination onto the real-life experiences of the young boy. Small's intuitive morphing of images, as with the terrible postsurgery scar on the main character's throat that becomes a dark staircase climbed by his mother, provide deep emotional echoes. Some understanding is gained as family secrets are unearthed, but for the most part David fends for himself in a family that is uncommunicative to a truly ghastly degree. Small tells his story with haunting subtlety and power. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Author notes provided by Syndetics

David Small was born on February 12, 1945, in Detroit, Michigan. He studied art and English at Wayne State University, and went on to complete graduate studies in art at Yale. After receiving his MFA degree, he taught drawing and printmaking at the State University of New York, Fredonia College, Kalamazoo College, and the University of Michigan. He also created editorial cartoons for publications such as the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. In the 1980s, he lost his teaching job due to cutbacks. It was then that he committed himself to combining his loves of writing and art.

His first picture book, Eulalie and the Hopping Head, was published in 1981. He earned a 1997 Caldecott Honor and The Christopher Medal for The Gardener, written by his wife, Sarah Stewart. In 2001, he received the Caldecott Medal for his artwork in So, You Want To Be President? by Judith St. George. His editorial drawings regularly appear in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, GQ, and The Washington Post.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Other editions of this work

No cover image available Stitches : by Small, David, ©2010

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